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Railways considers offering its coaches and cabins to be used as isolation wards in case of need

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The Indian railways have offered its coaches and cabins to be used as isolation wards for the patients who are tested positive of COVID-19 novel coronavirus. It will be used as a hospital on the wheel for mainly those areas where people have inadequate medical facilities.

As per a report in Hindustan Times, the proposal to use the empty coaches and cabins to be used as an isolation and care units for patients was discussed in a meeting of Railway Minister Piyush Goyal with Chairman Railway Board VK Yadav, General Managers of all zones and Divisional Railway Managers through video conferencing on Wednesday.

It was discussed how railways can contribute in the fight against the deadly contagion by manufacturing essential commodities like ventilators, beds, trolleys along with the proposal of using these coaches which are equipped with toilets as isolation wards.

The idea popped up after Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the cabinet to look for innovative ideas in order to boost medical facilities across the nation in wake of novel coronavirus crisis that is spreading rapidly. The compartments of railways will be used as a hospital on wheels with consultation rooms, medical stores, Intensive Care Unit, and pantry.

These hospitals on wheels will be settled anywhere across the country wherever the patients will be found with inadequate medical facilities. Railways will also have a slew of Accident Relief Medical Equipment Vans (ARME) called as rail ambulances.

Indian railways have suspended all its trains and journeys till 14 April in the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Wear gloves when you use the sticks: Former COAS and Union Minister Gen VK Singh’s light-hearted advice to police to ensure Indians stay at home

The spread of the novel coronavirus is concerning, if not downright scary. As the deadly Coronavirus is spreading through communities in many countries now, the best way to fight this spread is for everyone to practice social distancing. For this reason, many countries including India has gone in for a complete lockdown.

In such serious times, when everyone is cooped up in their respective houses, people are using quirky messages and even videos to educate the public (and each other) on how to stay safe and prevent a greater outbreak.

In once such Tweet, union minister and the former Chief of the Army Staff, VK Singh, in a lighthearted manner reminds people of the importance of social distancing to break the chain of Covid-19 infection and also takes a jibe on the lockdown offenders who have been deliberately violating orders.

Using hashtags like #LaatonKeBhoot and #SomeHumorToKeepEveryoneGoing, the union minister wrote, “I watched videos of police using force against lockdown offenders. It’s quite wrong. I urge all police personnel not to forget to wear gloves. You are risking your life while disciplining some fools. Thank you”. Gen Singh (R) reminded the police to wear gloves as they use the sticks on deter people from loitering around amidst the lockdown to prevent getting infected with coronavirus.

Read: Watch: As Haryana goes into state-wide lockdown, SP tweets video showing ‘full tyari’ of how they plan to enforce the law

Though it is evident that Singh was joking, but, as it is rightly said that there’s a grain of truth in every joke, Singh’s lighthearted tweet too has an underlying meaning.

General Singh’s tweet was appreciated by the netizens.

It is true that ever since the government has urged people to stay at home and maintain social distancing to curb the coronavirus outbreak there are umpteen covidiots who are purposely flouting rules and meandering aimlessly on practically deserted streets and also encouraging people to resort to risky social behaviours. In fact, taking pride in defying rules, few of these people have also been sharing their videos on various social networking sites.

And while it is indeed true that strict action must be taken against those who are defying rules and putting public health at risk, the Police should also be considerate to those in genuine distress. However, in times such as these, it is moral responsible of the citizens to follow the rules and not to overburden the already stressed administration.

Don’t be a Covidiot. Stay at home. Kill virus, not your sense of humour.

Indian-born chef Floyd Cardoz dies due to Wuhan Coronavirus

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Indian-born international chef Floyd Cardoz passed away on Wednesday in the United States due to complications from the coronavirus, his company confirmed in a statement.

According to the reports, the 59-year-old co-founder of Hunger Inc. Hospitality, that runs restaurants, tested positive for COVID-19 in the USA on March 18. He was being treated at the Mountainside Medical Centre in New Jersey. Cardoz had travelled from Mumbai to New York through Frankfurt, Germany, on March 8.

Cardoz is the co-owner of Hunger Inc, which runs three restaurants in Mumbai-Bombay Canteen, O’Pedro and Bombay Sweet Shop. The Indian-American chef partnered with restaurateur Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group to open ‘Tabla’ in Manhattan 1997.

He is survived by his mother Beryl, wife Barkha and sons Justin and Peter.

Reportedly, the chef had made the food industry more sustainable by beginning his hospitality training in his native Mumbai. He later moved to Switzerland, where he learnt French, Italian and Indian cuisine before moving to New York City.

Floyd Cardoz was the moving force behind several restaurants in New York and Mumbai, the star of the TV show, “Top Chef Masters” and the author of two books, “One Spice, Two Spice” and “Flavorwalla.”

Chef Cardoz, was active on social media and contributing to the conversation surrounding the Wuhan Coronavirus before he succumbed to the virus

Chef Cardoz’s tweet prior to his death due to coronavirus

He was of the option that the Wuhan Coronavirus should not be attached to the place if it’s origin, which is China.

Bengaluru: Two men named Tajuddin and Kutubuddin arrested for assaulting policemen during the coronavirus lockdown

Two men, who had brutally thrashed two policemen for stopping them for breaching a check post during the nationwide lockdown, have been arrested by the Bengaluru police on Wednesday.

Reportedly, the accused were over-speeding and performing stunts on bikes during the lockdown. They had breached the check post at Bhoopasandra, Sanjay Nagar in Bengaluru. When the cops tried to catch the two accused, they had assaulted the two policemen Manjunatha and Basavararaju.

A video, showing a group of young men arguing with the constables in uniform and then a couple of them attacking and pushing the cops on to the street, has surfaced on social media. A woman in the group was also seen instigating others to attack the policemen.

As the police took them into custody, one of the accused had tried to escape and hurled stones and bricks at the police. The accused, identified as Tajuddin, had been escorted to the spot of the incident early morning on Thursday. During the process of the inquest, he gave the police a slip and tried to run away. In order to prevent further assault, the police then fired at the accused with one bullet hitting the accused’s leg.

Another arrested person has been identified as Kutubuddin.

The police said two of the attackers have been arrested while a search is on to nab the others who were with them.

“We have arrested two miscreants and their motorcycle has also been seized. They have been booked under Section 353 of IPC (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty). It’s a non-bailable offence. They will be produced before the magistrate and we will see to it that they are sent to jail,” City Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao said.

Covidiot who had licked toilet as part of ‘Coronavirus Challenge’ tests positive for Covid-19

In a bizarre incident, a California TikTok prankster has been tested positive of the coronavirus just days after posting a video of himself licking a toilet seat as part of the ‘coronavirus challenge’,

According to the reports, the TikTok personality, known as Larz, who goes by the social media handle GayShawnMendes, had posted a video himself on Friday running his tongue across a public toilet as part of a bizarre and widely criticized “Coronavirus Challenge” on social media.

Days after he posted the outlandish video, the 21-year-old Larz posted another video of him languishing in a hospital bed. “I tested positive for Coronavirus,” Larz tweeted on an account that has since been suspended, as per reports.

It is not clear whether Larz contracted the infection from the toilet or from another source.

The “Coronavirus challenge” which vent viral mainly on TikTok, dares users to post footage of themselves licking everything from toilets to any other commodities used in daily lives, which may be contaminated by the virus. The so-called ‘coronavirus challenge’ – which sees people share videos online of themselves licking objects in public places – has been slammed as “highly irresponsible” by health experts.

Read- Covidiots: Defying lockdown orders, crowd gathers at Shaheen Bagh protest site after police clears up the roadblock

Shocking videos have been shared across various social media platforms in direct contradiction to official advice to stop the Covid-19 spread. The craze began after a TikTok influencer shared a clip of herself licking a toilet seat on an aircraft as someone says “it’s corona time”.

Ava Louise indulging in the “coronavirus challenge”, had too licked toilet seat inside an aeroplane washroom before posting the video. In the six-second video, that Ava Louise shared on her Twitter account, she added the caption, “Please RT this so people can know how to properly be sanitary on the airplane”.

Maharashtra: Doctors sit on dharna as AIMIM MLA and his goons beat up doctor in Malegaon

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As the country is gripped in the coronavirus outbreak, entire country is locked down to restrict movement and contain the spreading of the virus. Amidst all this, All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) MLA Maulana Mufti Ismail reached Malegaon hospital with his supporters and misbehaved with the hospital staff.

Mufti Mohammad Ismail along with 20-25 of his workers barged into the hospital and started threatening the staff. They also exchanged blows with one Doctor Kishor Dange. As per reports, the matter started because the hospital and Dr Kishor Dange did not pick up the MLA’s phone. Earlier this year, two suspects opened fire at AIMIM leader Rizwan Khan’s home in Malegaon. One of the suspects was injured in firing and on court’s order is reportedly undergoing treatment at the hospital. As per Aaj Tak report, AIMIM MLA was upset that he was being kept without proper documentation.

In the above video shared by news agency ANI, the MLA can be seen abusing the doctor. (Note: abusive language.)

The MLA has accused the doctor and the medical staff of gross negligence and dereliction of duty amidst the coronavirus outbreak. After the sparring, the entire staff is sitting on a vigil outside the hospital demanding legal action against the MLA and his henchmen. However, emergency services and coronavirus patients are being treated by the hospital.

Angered by the incident, the staff of the general hospital is now sitting on a dharna outside the hospital. Except for emergency and coronavirus related work, the doctors are on a strike.

Coronavirus lockdown: Uttar Pradesh government takes urgent steps to ensure the poor and weaker sections do not suffer, cash and food to be provided

The widescale spread of coronavirus across 187 countries has led to the lockdown of several cities, states and countries. According to worldometers.org, as on 26 March 2020, there are cases 471,742 confirmed cases, deaths 21,297 deaths and 114,696 recoveries worldwide.

It is somewhat similar to natural and human disasters affecting all living beings, especially for the weaker sections of our society. They are left to feed on their meagre stocks or go hungry, which can lead to several problems like hunger, health, nutrition and inequality. During the lockdown period, the governance systems need to uphold the Sustainable Development Goals as defined by UN, especially no. 1, 2, 3, 10 which means that the government has to focus on ensuring to end poverty owing to lack of daily wages, end hunger and ensure food security and nutrition owing to less or no access to food, ensure healthy lives of all age groups, and also ensure the reduction of inequality within the country.

Across the world, historically, several societies have successfully shown good examples of protecting weaker sections by the rulers or the governance system. Organising food camps, organising large scale kitchens by charitable organisations, providing food stamps by the government, donors and multilateral agencies. Also religion led temples, church and mosques providing free food to all needy people. Distributing food grains from government warehouses is quite common in recent decades. This practice is centuries old across the globe.

In recent months, coronavirus has led to lockdowns across the globe, but there is limited information available on how countries are ensuring that the most vulnerable are safe. During the lockdown, weaker sections of society, especially those who depend on daily wages and workers in the unorganised sector (street food vendors, hawkers in public spaces) are the worst affected. They are forced to sit in house, resulted in no job and no wages.

Back in India, the largest populated state of Uttar Pradesh has been taking on this challenge under the leadership of monk turned chief minister and five-time MP Yogi Adityanath. Being a monk (head priest of the Gorakhnath temple in Gorakhpur of Uttar Pradesh), his sect on a regular basis provides free food to all devotees and cattle. This has been practised in his temple premises for several decades. His commitment to helping weaker sections (waiving off agricultural loans, direct benefit transfer to user accounts and other welfare schemes) has focused on ensuring easy access to food and cash during the lockdown period resulted from Coronavirus.

The inevitable impact of coronavirus on the weaker sections of the society has led the Government of Uttar Pradesh (confirmed coronavirus cases 34) to constitute a committee under the chairmanship of Suresh Khanna (Minister for Finance and Parliamentary Affairs, also eight times winner from the ruling party). The Committee submitted the report in a week to ensure food and cash transfer during Coronavirus related lockdown period in Uttar Pradesh. On March 18, 2020, the Chief Minister took the decision to implement the recommendations of this committee. The Committee explored to tap the underutilised labour cess fund in steering this process.

Key features of the committee recommendations

• All 1,65,31,000 workers (see Table 1), will get food grains (20 kg wheat and 10 kg rice per family per month) free for two months. To be distributed through public distribution system shops spread over all villages. This will be monitored on weekly basis by local nodal officers and state officers.
• Rs 1000 per month maintenance allowance to 20,37,000 labourers (see Table 1).
• The money will be directly transferred to beneficiaries’ bank accounts.
• Immediate payment to 88, 40,000 workers under the Mahatma Gandhi rural employment guarantee scheme, supported by the Government of India.
• All pensioners (83,83,000 as in Table 2) will get pension amount for two months.

Table 1: Labour cess fund utilisation for paying Rs.1,000 per month and food grains (wheat, 20 kgs and rice, 10 kgs) from public distribution shops from April 2020.

Existing SchemeNumber of Beneficiaries
Antyodaya – Rural37,51,000
Antyodaya -Urban03,43,000
MNREGA – job cardholders88,40,000
Registered workers in the Labour department20,37,000
Unorganised workers (estimated)15,60,000
Total1,65,31,000

Table 2. Pensioners will get two months amount from the first week of April 2020.

Existing SchemeNo. of beneficiaries
1.Pension for old age people46,97,000
2.Pension for Physically challenged10,76,000
3.Pension for destitute/widow women26,10,000
Total83,83,000

The UP government had also announced that the government will engage vehicles to distribute food and rations to households in the state. So far, over 12,000 vehicles have been employed to make vegetables, milk, food grains, and medicines to doorsteps in rural and urban areas.

Several other states have also shown their willingness to provide similar benefits. The Kerala government had announced a 20,000 crore package. Punjab CM Amarinder Singh has declared an immediate relief of Rs 3,000 to each registered construction worker in the state. Haryana CM ML Khattar has also announced that the state will provide special financial assistance to special financial assistance for people in BPL category and low-income groups like daily wagers, labourers, street vendors and construction workers. Delhi has doubled the pension amount for widows, the elderly and disabled persons. The government has also arranged for food distribution for the homeless and poor in the national capital.

On Sunday, 22 March 2020, entire India following the call of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had observed a complete lockdown at the national level, that too on a voluntary basis by 1.3 billion people. Now the entire nation is under complete lockdown for three weeks. In these hard times, Uttar Pradesh model would be a healthy booster to the society.

Uttar Pradesh: Muslim mob attacks police for asking to avoid mass namaz in view of coronavirus

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In yet another shocking act of deliberate violation of lockdown, a Muslim mob not only assembled at a local mosque in Mainpuri, Uttar Pradesh but also attacked the policemen for asking to avoid mass prayers (namaz) in the view of nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, reports Amar Ujala.

According to the report, the Muslim had assembled at a local mosque in Bhogaon, Mainpuri on Wednesday to offer namaz at a time when Uttar Pradesh government has issued orders that no religious places will be kept open for prayers during the lockdown. The local administration had also appealed the Muslims to not assemble at the mosque.

However, the Muslims had defied the rules to assemble at the mosque. On receiving information that people had gathered at the mosque located in Mohalla Mohammad Saeed town of Bhogaon, Inspector Pahup Singh reached the mosque with fellow policemen. When asked to open the door of the mosque, the mob became angry and refused to open the doors of the mosque.

As per the Amar Ujala report, despite all the efforts, the police could not convince the Muslim mob. They tried hard to open the doors but they were not allowed inside the mosque. Then, the Muslim mob unleashed themselves on the policemen as they attempted to disperse the mob. The police had to call for reinforcements to control the mob. However, Muslims have denied any attack and claimed that they are offering Namaz at home. 

The situation was brought under control after the police arrived at the spot. The Inspector in charge appealed to the people to offer Namaz at home. 

As the menace of coronavirus prompted several states across the country, including Uttar Pradesh, to impose blanket restrictions against the movement and congregation of people to blunt the spread of the virus, Muslim mobs have repeatedly descended on the streets to offer namaz.

Just two days back, in a similar incident, a Muslim mob in Meerut created a ruckus over being stopped from offering namaz in the mosques by the city police. Scores of Muslims had hit the streets at around 5:30 PM on Sunday in Meerut following the 5-minute celebration of gratitude expressed towards the frontline workers fighting the coronavirus.

Defying the rules, they had assembled at different mosques in the town- Sisiganj, Safety Tank, Rajbandh Market, Kotwali, Lisadi Gate and Nauchandin, to offer the evening prayers. Despite repeated attempts by the police to dissuade Muslims from marching towards the mosques, many Muslims ignored police’s appeals and instead created a ruckus after police tried to impede them from assembling at mosques in the view of the surging coronavirus cases in the country.

India lockdown: Doordarshan to bring back Ramayan and Mahabharat TV series as Indians stay home amidst coronavirus outbreak

Growing up in the 80s and the 90s, one of the fondest memories is of watching the B R Chopra’s Mahabharat and Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan on Doordarshan. The roads would go empty as the nation saw Arun Govil as Lord Ram and Nitish Bharadwaj as Lord Krishna. Now that the streets have gone empty again, thanks to the Chinese Wuhan Coronavirus, the public broadcaster has decided to bring back the epics on small screen.

Taking to Twitter, Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar said that the team is trying to work out the logistics.

He said that the schedule will for the same will hopefully be out by end of the day.

The iPad generation will now know how it was growing up back in the day when Internet didn’t rule our lives.

Jharkhand: 11 foreign Maulvis, including 3 Chinese hiding in a Ranchi mosque nabbed, passports seized

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Eleven Islamic clerics (Maulvis) have been nabbed from the Rargaon Mosque in Tamar area of ​​Ranchi on Tuesday amidst the threat of Chinese coronavirus. Three Maulvis from China, three from Kazakhstan and four others from Kyrgyzstan were hiding in the mosque.

According to the reports, Bundu DSP on Tuesday had received information that 11 Maulvis were hiding inside the Rargaon Mosque in the city on Tuesday afternoon. Later in the day, the DSP, along with his team, raided the mosque.

They have been identified as Ma Mani, Yeh Dehai, Ma Maireli from China, Nurkarim Oloo, Zurbek, Nurgyev Islanbeck, Abdullaev Gulomiddin, Ismail Mishalo, Shakir Shah Akhunov, Ilyas Mayanov of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. Their passports have been seized and now, the police are investigating into the matter.

The police after raiding the mosque, immediately sent them to a quarantine facility. They added that the preliminary investigations have begun regarding how they were given refuge inside a mosque. The police also stated that all the maulvis have been tested and according to preliminary results no one has tested positive for the Chinese virus yet.

According to the reports, the Islamic clerics claimed that they had travelled to Jamshedpur from Delhi. They stated that they reached Ranchi on March 19 and took refuge in the mosque.

These shocking act of recklessness of hiding foreigners, especially from Wuhan virus affected nations, comes at a time central and state governments are fighting hard to contain the menace of the Chinese virus by imposing lockdown across the country.

A similar incident was reported a few days back when 12 foreign nationals were found hiding in a mosque in Patna, Bihar. The Muslim belonging to foreign countries had hidden in the Mosque with the help of a few local Muslims. These people were reportedly hiding, fearing medical examination amidst the coronavirus outbreak. The incident had created a scare across the country.

These foreigners have been in Patna since the month of January. They had taken shelter in the Mosque with the help of some local Muslims. It was reported that these foreigners were religious preachers and they have been roaming around freely in Bihar.

Similarly, seven Indonesian nationals, who had visited Karimnagar to attend an Islamic event – Ijtema, had tried to escape after they were tested for the Coronavirus. The Islamic event organisers had allowed them to stay at a local madrasa during their stay in Karimnagar without even screening them.

The Indonesian nationals came to Karimnagar from Delhi on March 13 in a train. During the journey, they were accompanied by three Indians at Karimnagar. These Indonesian nationals had come to Karimnagar to attend a religious programme and were staying at a mosque.

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